The Google administration is still undecided whether it will appear in a Pakistani court in response to a petition challenging ban on YouTube, a video sharing website.

This was stated by a law officer of Ministry of Information Technology in the Lahore High Court hearing the petition moved by an NGO ‘Bytes for All’.

Previously, the court had sought assistance of the ministry and directed it to approach the Google administration and seek their point of view. A deputy attorney general had also told the court that the federal government was willing to lift the ban but the blasphemous material was still available on the website.

On Thursday, law officer Zahid Advocate told the court that the administration of the Google, of which Youtube is a subsidiary, was considering if it should appear before the Pakistani court. He requested the court to allow some more time for further proceedings.

The court accepted his request and adjourned hearing until June 4.

YouTube was blocked across Pakistan on September 17, 2012 following orders by then-Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf. The PM had imposed ban after YouTube refused to heed to the advice of the Pakistan government to remove the blasphemous film from the website.

In the petition on behalf of the NGO, Advocate Yasser Latif Hamdani submitted that all internet curbs are counterproductive and deprive Pakistanis the right to access of information as well as the right to counter any propaganda against the country or against what they believe in strongly.

In the petition he said taking away YouTube’s access is the modern equivalent of taking away the scholar’s pen.

He submitted before the court that the ban on YouTube amounted to infringing upon fundamental rights about reading and acquiring knowledge. He said a large number of people had been affected by the ban. He prayed the court that declaring the ban as illegal, issue directions to restore access to it in the country.–Staff Reporter